I'm writing a research statement for a faculty position. I've divided the statement into small sections discussing past, current work, and future directions. I'm wondering if people often do use equations in the statement about their research?

The research is on machine learning (ML). The target is a mathematics department with an ML opening.

1 Answer 1


You are asking the wrong question. The right question you should be asking yourself is "How do I best explain what I want to say, to the audience I have identified for the thing I'm writing". You will notice that I'm saying this not with regard to a research statement as part of an application, but in general: This is the advice you should consider for everything you write: Identify who your audience is, what they know, what they want to get out of what you are writing for them, and then use that insight to decide how you should write.

As for the specific question: Yes, research statements addressed to math departments typically use formulas. That's because that audience is clearly capable to understand these formulas, and will want to see enough detail that it is worth stating them in concise, mathematical notation.

  • 1
    Thanks. Since you are in the math department, how many pages do they usually write? Is 7 pages too much?
    – Blade
    Nov 13, 2022 at 21:37
  • In my institution's current job ad, we suggest 3-5 pages for a research statement. By the way, it sounds like you might want to apply for this particular opening…! Nov 13, 2022 at 23:46
  • 4
    @GregMartin wrong link?
    – Bergi
    Nov 14, 2022 at 0:02
  • 2
    3-5 pages sounds like a reasonable number. Nov 14, 2022 at 1:07
  • 3
    Sorry, the correct link is mathjobs.org/jobs/list/20980 Nov 14, 2022 at 2:49

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